Monday, December 28, 2015


by Johnny Strike

      How much time had passed I didn’t know, but I woke up with a headache that included a feeling as though my eyeballs were being consumed by a raging blue fire. I was somewhere out in the country. I was sitting on dirt ground, my wrists tied too tightly behind me to a pole. My legs likewise tied as well to another pole. I was in an enclosed area with cement walls so high that even if I could get loose, climbing the walls without the proper gear would be impossible. My confidence had turned to paralyzing fear, much like when I’d been captured in the cage. A monkey was standing before me chattering. He showed his yellow teeth. He made frantic gestures. Was this the prelude to some hideous torture I’d not even imagined? The monkey continued to chatter while he untied me. 

      Relieved, I rubbed circulation into my extremities. I got to my feet, wobbly at first, still rubbing. My monkey rescuer jumped up and down. Pulling at my pant leg, he led me to a far corner where two other monkeys stood guard. I saw that they’d made crude steps with mud and some stones nearly to the top. Up I went. At the top I could see the living quarters of my captors, a ramshackle house, smoke from a cooking shaft, and a shed nearby. The smell of meat and onions was in the air. It was still a dangerous jump down to freedom. I found one of the monkeys by my side handing me a thick vine. I took it, tugged at it, and found it securely attached to a tall tree at the wood's edge. So, once again, somehow overriding my fear of heights, I, Johnny Tarzan, swung through the air. At what seemed the right time I let go, grabbing onto that tree. Although I had a rough moment with a partial slip, I got a grip and made my way down.

     Rather than trekking off to God knows where, and likely being tracked (with no weapon), I crept back closer to watch the house. From this angle I could see there were three of them, Sati, his hand bandaged, as well as the two cousins. All of them eventually sat around a table together for what I assumed was supper. In the shed I found some items to help me, a child’s red wagon, (one wheel loose, off-balanced), a shovel, a can with some gasoline, an empty beer keg, some paint aerosol cans, matches, some moldy newspaper, all of which I arranged carefully in the wagon, even a couple of empty flour sacks. I poured the gas into the keg, attached a handmade paper/twine fuse. Moving with the shadows I pulled the wagon around front where the door was propped open to catch some breeze. They had it loosely draped with mosquito netting too. I lit the fuse and shoved the crazy wagon in. The damn thing misbehaved from the start, going up in flames, then lifting off the ground, flying into the front room like something supernatural. An especially loud WHOOSH, WHOOSH. I jumped back fearing an explosion, but it didn’t happen. Inside a fire raged, someone screamed, followed by KA-BOOM, KA-BOOM, a decent double explosion that was enough to affect my hearing. All three came out fast, Sati tumbling, partially on fire, rolling around on the ground, attended to by a cousin who didn’t see the shovel coming that knocked him out. But, it broke off as well, so using the technique of cane fighting, I jabbed and pulled with the other cousin who’d come up with the fantastic weapon of a club with metal spikes. He swung and missed. I kicked dirt into his face, then kicked him in the nut sack. He fell in misery, blind, holding his balls.

     Sati had gotten the fire out and jumped to his feet, his face charred, blackened, but gloating, because now he was holding a .357 Magnum, trigger cocked. The moonlight played over his evil expression. I thought glumly, ‘Well, it had to end sometime.’ A shot rang out, then another. Sati had been shot in the chest and the forehead. I turned to see Adja coming out of some brush cradling a rifle with a telescopic lens.

     What would you do without me, Lance?”
     One cousin got up, still blinded. A poke/pull to the gut with the shovel handle produced an OOF. I threw the handle to the side, knocking him out with an old fashioned left/right combination. He toppled back into the dust with a stupid, bloody face.
     “Or them,” I said to Adja, gesturing over to the three monkeys who looked like they were practicing the hear no, see no, speak no evil signs. They made noises that I took to be a kind of laughter. Then they all clapped. I told her about them helping me. She looked amazed.

     “I’ve heard other stories like that. Leave it to you to bring it to light. You must be an animal mystic too. And luckily, my dear, I’ve had you followed. The chip you’ve been carrying in your belt buckle got us close enough.” Her dad, wearing all khaki, a pith helmet, and the expression of some misguided safari director, emerged from the woods at a different point, cradling his rifle. 

     He stopped to put a bullet in the head of the one I’d knocked out and another into the other one who was again trying to get to his feet. I was startled at the cold-blooded action, but then I considered what I would have had in store from this nasty trio. Pops squatted and called to the monkeys, making a chattering noise very similar to theirs. They gathered around him, pulling on his sleeve. He handed out dried fruit, snacks, and some candy from his backpack.

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1 comment:

  1. This mysterious realm in the deep forest where monkeys hold sway over those who enter the wilderness is a fascinating eyewitness account. No doubt without their assistance the protagonist would have met his end. Such complexities in this dramatic tale make for a good read by the fireplace. I hope this author can craft some equally thrilling stories as this one.


Archive of Stories
and Authors

Sanford Meschkow's

Sanford Meschkow is a retired former
NYer who married a Philly suburban
Main Line girl. Sanford has been pub-
lished in a 1970s issue of AMAZING.
We welcome him here on the FREE-
ZINE of Fantasy and Science Fiction.

Brian "Flesheater" Stoneking's

Brian "Flesheater" Stoneking's

Brian "Flesheater" Stoneking currently
resides in the high desert of Phoenix,
Arizona where he enjoys campy horror
movies within the comfort of an Insane
Asylum. Search for his science fiction
stories at The Intestinal Fortitude in
the Flesheater's World section.
The Memory Sector is his first
appearance in the Freezine of
Fantasy and Science Fiction.

Owen R. Powell's

Little is known of the mysterious
Owen R. Powell (oftentimes referred
to as Orp online). That is because he
usually keeps moving. The story
Noetic Vacations marks his first
appearance in the Freezine.

Edward Morris's

Edward Morris is a 2011 nominee for
the Pushcart Prize in literature, has
also been nominated for the 2009
Rhysling Award and the 2005 British
Science Fiction Association Award.
His short stories have been published
over a hundred and twenty times in
four languages, most recently at
PerhihelionSF, the Red Penny Papers'
SUPERPOW! anthology, and The
Magazine of Bizarro Fiction. He lives
and works in Portland as a writer,
editor, spoken word MC and bouncer,
and is also a regular guest author at
the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival.

Gene Stewart
(writing as Art Wester)

Gene Stewart's

Gene Stewart is a writer and artist.
He currently lives in the Midwest
American Wilderness where he is
researching tales of mystical realism,
writing ficta mystica, and exploring
the dark by casting a little light into
the shadows. Follow this link to his
website where there are many samples
of his writing and much else; come

Adam Bolivar's

Adam Bolivar's

Adam Bolivar's

Adam Bolivar is an expatriate Bostonian
who has lived in New Orleans and Berkeley,
and currently resides in Portland, Oregon
with his beloved wife and fluffy gray cat
Dahlia. Adam wears round, antique glasses
and has a fondness for hats. His greatest
inspirations include H.P. Lovecraft,
Jack tales and coffee.

David Agranoff's

David Agranoff's

David Agranoff is the author of the
short story collection Screams From
A Dying World, just published by
Afterbirth Books. David is a hardcore
vegan and tireless environmentalist.
His contributions to the punk horror
scene and the planet in general have
already established him as a bright
new writer and activist to watch out
for. The Freezine of Fantasy and
Science Fiction welcomes him and
his defiant vision open-heartedly.

David is a busy man, usually at work
on several different novels or projects
at once. He is sure to leave his mark on
a world teetering over the edge of
ecological imbalance. David's latest
books include the Wuxia -Pan
(martial arts fantasy) horror
novel called Hunting The Moon Tribe,
already out from Afterbirth Books.;
The Vegan Revolution...with Zombies,
[Deadite Press, 2010]; and
[Deadite Press, 2014]

Daniel José Older's

Daniel José Older's

Daniel José Older's spiritually driven,
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With sardonic, uplifting and often
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a teaching artist & an antiracist/antisexist
organizer to weave fast-moving, emotionally
engaging plots that speak whispers and
shouts about power and privilege in
modern day New York City. His work
has appeared in the Freezine of Fantasy
and Science Fiction, The ShadowCast
Audio Anthology, The Tide Pool, and
the collection Sunshine/Noir, and is
featured in Sheree Renee Thomas'
Black Pot Mojo Reading Series in Harlem.
When he's not writing, teaching or
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Johnny Strike's

Johnny Strike's

Johnny Strike's

Johnny Strike will beat you with his guitar
and leave you lying in the gutter wishing you
had never dared enter his under ground world
of fake passports, lucky amulets, rain soaked
hotels, and occult mystique. If you don't leave
nice comments under his story, he's sure to sic
his band CRIME on you. He also wrote the novel
Ports Of Hell (Headpress), recommended by
William S. Burroughs. You don't receive kudos
from William Lee himself unless you are the
epitome of cool. Besides, have you listened to
CRIME's album Exalted Masters? It was
released in 2007 on the Crime Music label,
on vinyl only, featuring a slew of their old
rare hits. Its real punk music from seasoned
veterans. Now go track yourself down a copy
before its out of print. The Freezine of Fantasy
and Science Fiction is proud to host the story
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From Above (Rudos and Rubes).

Paul Stuart's

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Rain Grave's

Rain Graves is an award winning
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David Niall Wilson). Her most
recent book, Barfodder: Poetry
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in January of 2009. She lives and
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Icy Sedgwick's

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G. Alden Davis's

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Shae Sveniker's

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Nigel Strange's

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J.R. Torina's

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